Google has retired Sergey Brin and Larry Page, the company’s two co-founders, to deal with the ChatGPT threat. Brin and Page reportedly held several meetings with company executives over the past month. The topic: ChatGPT, OpenAI’s text-generating AI, which is emerging as the first notable threat to Google’s $149 billion search business in decades. Brin and Page reportedly reviewed Google’s strategy in the AI industry, approved plans and pooled ideas for integrating more chatbot features into Google’s search engine.
ChatGPT seems to have upset Google from its routine. Until then, the Mountain View company didn’t seem to shy away from alternatives to its search engine. Also, Internet users are so used to Google that it is difficult for them to try their hand at a competitor for some time. But lately everyone seems to want to try one, ChatGPT. OpenAI’s chatbot isn’t really what you could call a search engine, but netizens seem confident in the AI tool’s ability to provide sophisticated and detailed answers to their various questions, except, of course, on topics filtered out was launched by OpenAI.
The excitement generated by ChatGPT would have panicked Google, which fears netizens are becoming more accustomed to questioning OpenAI’s chatbot rather than its search engine. The company asked its teams to think about a quick response. Google is now scrambling to catch up, with CEO Sundar Pichai declaring a “Code Red” to boost AI development. Alphabet subsidiary DeepMind is expected to launch a ChatGPT competitor called Sparrow later this year. Sparrow is rumored to be one of the tools Google intends to introduce to stem the rise of ChatGPT.
Now we also learn that the founders who left the company three years ago have rejoined to help Google in this AI race. According to people familiar with the matter, Page and Brin, who haven’t spent much time at Google since leaving their day-to-day work at the company in 2019, chaired several meetings with executives at the company over the past month. They looked at Google’s artificial intelligence product strategy. Additionally, Page and Bri have reportedly approved and brainstormed plans to add more chatbot functionality to Google’s search engine.
They would also have advised the company’s executives, who have placed AI at the heart of their projects. Page and Brin’s renewed engagement, Pichai’s invitation, underscored the urgency many Google executives felt regarding ChatGPT. Google is now reportedly planning to launch more than 20 new products this year and to demonstrate a version of its search engine with chatbot functionality. According to the sources, the clock is ticking for Google, which believes chatbot features should make its search engine more attractive and user-friendly for netizens.
This is a moment of great vulnerability for Google. ChatGPT pushed a stake, saying, “This is what an engaging new search experience could look like,” said D. Sivakumar, a former Google search director who co-founded a startup called Tonita that makes search technologies for e-commerce companies. In search of new experiences to offer internet users, Microsoft created ChatGPT. The company is said to be working on a new version of its Bing search engine that will integrate ChatGPT functionalities. Other of its products are affected.
Microsoft made its first billion-euro investment in OpenAI in 2019. On Monday, the Redmond-based company announced that it would again finance OpenAI with several billion and thus strengthen the connection to the startup. Microsoft has declined to reveal the exact amount of this new investment, but rumors have been circulating for a few weeks that the figure could be around $10 billion. OpenAI was also the transaction amount. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes the partnership will accelerate breakthroughs in AI and help both companies bring advanced technologies to market in the future.
Google, OpenAI, and others develop their AIs using so-called “broad” language models that draw on online information, allowing them to sometimes share false statements and display racist, sexist, and racist attitudes. This was enough to make companies, particularly in the case of Google, reluctant to offer this technology to the public. But several new companies, including You.com and Perplexity.ai, are already offering online search engines that let you ask questions through an online chatbot, similar to ChatGPT. Google has let itself be overtaken on the subject.
The consequences of Google’s more rational approach are not yet foreseeable. According to an analysis by Google, its technology lags behind the measures reported by OpenAI when it comes to identifying hateful, toxic, sexual or violent content. In every category, OpenAI outperformed Google’s tools, which also fell short of human precision when evaluating content. Google cited copyright, privacy and antitrust law as the main risks associated with this technology. The Mountain View company said action was needed to reduce those risks.
Google executives hope to confirm their company’s status as an AI pioneer. The company has been working aggressively on AI for the past decade and has already offered a small number of people a chatbot called LaMDA, which could compete with ChatGPT. “We continue to test our AI technology internally to ensure it’s useful and safe, and look forward to sharing more experiences externally soon,” said Google spokeswoman Lily Lin. She added that AI will benefit individuals, businesses and communities, and that Google is considering its broader societal impact.
The chatbot search demo Google is planning for this year will focus on fact-checking, ensuring security, and eliminating misinformation, according to people familiar with the company’s plans. For other future services and products, the company would have lowered the bar, trying to contain rather than prevent issues related to hate and toxicity, danger and misinformation.
What is your opinion on the topic?
What do you think of calling Google Sergey Brin and Larry Page?
Do you think Google’s more streamlined approach to AI chatbots was the right one?
Do you think Google would be able to stem the rise of ChatGPT?
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